Ben Golliver of SI.com has Serge Ibaka as a snub: “Oklahoma City’s forward trails Aldridge, Griffin, Love, Howard, Nowitzki, Davis and, possibly, Duncan on the West frontcourt’s pecking order, but he’s still worthy of a little snub love here. The 24-year-old shot-blocking, face-up jump-shooting extraordinaire is averaging a career-high 14.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks, while stepping into an expanded role following the departure of Kevin Martin and the injury to Westbrook. Ibaka’s PER of 19.1 is strong and his defensive impact is major. Kevin Durant deserves the lion’s share of the credit for keeping Oklahoma City atop the West standings and in the top five league-wide on both sides of the ball, but not even he would be managing that feat without nightly help from Ibaka, who has misssed just one game this season.”
Jenni Carlson on David Stern: “In some places, Stern’s retirement will be cause for celebration. These are the locales where he’s known as “Dictator David” and other less printable nicknames. Not in Oklahoma City. Around these parts, Stern is beloved. He stood in the city’s corner when it offered refuge to the Hornets after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. That gave Oklahoma City a chance to prove itself worthy of its own NBA franchise, a reward that was granted in 2008. The rest is glorious history.”
The chatter is kicking up again: The Nets are “targeting” KD in 2016. Yeah, and everybody else. Big huge news here, guys.
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com on that: “Second, it’s a piece of the puzzle for Durant. Durant has been the humble star in smalltown America (not really, Norman-OKC is fairly big but that’s the perception) for his entire career and it’s part of why he’s so beloved. But now you have one of the wealthiest franchises on the world’s biggest stage wanting to make him their icon. If Durant can’t win a title in OKC with smart management and careful team building, isn’t the lure of a franchise that will simply spend whatever to put talent around him going to be alluring? It’s too early for this talk to start, I agree. But if you want to try and see the vague shapes that lie in the league’s future, you have to start and end the conversation with Durant’s decision coming up in 2016.”
Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider wants 4-pointers: “Finding that statistical equilibrium is tricky, but after researching the shooting percentages in the league, I believe that a 4-point arc at about 28 feet makes the most sense. Over the last three seasons, players have shot 23 percent from 28 to 32 feet, according to NBA StatsCube data. So if we make a 28-foot shot worth four points, that’s effectively paying off the same as shooting 46 percent on 2-pointers. That’s a little below the current value of 3-pointers, which is important, because we want to protect the significance of the 3-point line. So putting the line at about 28 feet makes a 4-pointer valuable but maintains the value of 2-pointers and 3-pointers as well, providing coaches and players with more strategic options. At first there were very few players who were good at 3s. That would probably be the same case with 4-pointers, at first.”
Perk tweets: “What’s good my peeps? Great team win. Whatever it takes. Sacrificing is what good teams do. When my name is called I’ll be ready. 9 in a row”
Fun LeBron or KD? video right here. Really fun.
A David Stern music video? A David Stern music video.
Mike Foss of USA Today: “What does this game and Durant’s performance really mean? The win came in January, not June, and it came in the middle of an absolutely astounding month for Durant, and a wholly mediocre month for James and the Heat. LeBron is still the best player in the game and still has two more rings than KD. But after watching the two last night, it’s undeniable that the gap is closing. Durant is two years removed from the drubbing he received from James in the NBA Finals. He’s an older, refined, and better player. Will that make a difference come June? Well, it did in January.”